Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Robert Dear Asked for Directions to Clinic

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP NewsBreak: Shooting suspect asked direction to clinic.

DENVER — The man accused of killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado asked at least one person in a nearby shopping center for directions to the facility before opening fire, a law enforcement official said, offering the clearest suggestion yet that he was targeting the reproductive health organization. Prosecutors this week plan to charge Robert Lewis Dear, 57, with murder and other crimes in the Nov. 27 attack that also left nine other people wounded. Colorado Springs police have refused to discuss a motive for the fusillade, but there’s mounting evidence to suggest Dear was deeply concerned about abortion, having rambled to authorities about “no more baby parts” after his arrest.

Within hours, Dear, 57, allegedly stormed the Planned Parenthood packing an arsenal of rifles and handguns, wounding nine people before exchanging gunfire with police. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) wrote to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that the committee “serves only to continue the witch hunt against Planned Parenthood, its staff and its patients.” The Republican response has been to point out that the October resolution establishing the special committee referred generally to “abortion providers,” but not Planned Parenthood. It was unclear whether Dear purchased all of them, but despite brushes with the law, he had no felony convictions that would have prevented him from buying a firearm. Dear, who lived off-the-grid in several remote locations, had a history of acting upon his hatred toward Planned Parenthood by vandalizing abortion clinics in South Carolina, one of his ex-wives, Barbara Micheau claimed.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers on Monday would not discuss Dear’s motive or details of the investigation, but he praised responding officers, who he said rescued 24 people from inside the clinic building and helped remove 300 people from the surrounding businesses where they had been hiding while the shooting unfolded. “They went in at their own peril, but that contributed to basically 24 people getting out of that building safely,” Suthers said of the officers. Planned Parenthood has strongly denied claims from abortion rights opponents that it illegally profited from the donations, and the health care network has since ceased accepting reimbursement of costs at its two facilities that still supply fetal tissue to researchers.

Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has admitted that he had found no evidence of wrongdoing after his panel investigated Planned Parenthood’s use of federal funds. Still, there hasn’t been any indication from Republicans that the select committee, which has yet to announce any scheduled hearings, will investigate other abortion providers. Anthony List, which backs anti-abortion Republican women, called it “the Select Panel investigating Planned Parenthood,” and conservative media outlets like LifeNews and Breitbart have referred to the committee as if the congressional resolution wasn’t intentionally vague. “This is also just one more step in their endless attacks on women’s right to choose, and I think they’re leaving the door open to whatever lets them keep the barrage up,” said Courtney Cochran, communications director for Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Ind.) told USA Today last week that her focus would be “trying to figure out if Planned Parenthood uses any federal dollars to defray the cost of providing abortions.” The more than $500 million that Planned Parenthood receives from the federal government annually comes under Medicaid and Title X, a federal family planning program that serves lower-income Americans. “I’m going to be taking the lead in … following the money trail,” Hartzler said. “So trying to determine if they are subsidizing their abortion side with funds that are coming in the door” from the federal government.

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